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Work of Home Sweet Home has created a big shift in government homelessness policy - Lynn Boylan MEP

9 January, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan has this evening welcomed the agreement reached between campaign group Home Sweet Home and Minister Simon Coveney.

Ms Boylan stated that the work of Home Sweet Home clearly brought the sharp reality of housing crisis to bear on the Minister's thinking and it has resulted in a big shift in government policy.

She said;

"The work of Home Sweet Home created a national focal point for a housing and homelessness crisis that is being felt in the most heartbreaking of ways right across this state. The campaign shone a bright spotlight on the scale of the homelessness emergency and this meant that the Minister could no longer continue along the failed path taken by the government.

"The occupation of Apollo House was carried out in order to ensure that no person had to spend Christmas on the streets in our capital city. This was an extremely honourable and just undertaking, and the resolve and work of the Home Sweet Home volunteers has now created a big and badly needed shift in government policy.

"Moving forward, it is vitally important that the measures included in the emergency plan published by Home Sweet Home last week are adopted by government in order to begin sensibly addressing the housing crisis. It is now time for the Minister to show real vision and ambition by implementing a social housing building programme that will meet the huge need for affordable housing.

"Minister for Finance Michael Noonan can also play a crucial role by using his powers to direct NAMA to provide residences and emergency accommodation to all those in need.

"We need to see the rental crisis dealt with in a way that will actually work for those struggling to keep a roof over their heads in 2017. This means linking rent increases and decreases to the CPI and of strengthening the security of tenure for tenants. The legislation introduced by the government before Christmas is fundamentally flawed and will not relieve the pressure placed on tenants due to exorbitant rents.

"The concessions won by the Home Sweet Home campaign must be the start of wider push to resolve the housing and homelessness crisis. It is not the end. It is only the beginning and Sinn Féin will work with all those who want to see progressive solutions to this emergency implemented without delay. I want to congratulate all the volunteers and supporters of Home Sweet Home on this significant victory."

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